Samsung's Next Galaxy S7 Smartphone Could Get 3D Touch

With the next Samsung Galaxy flagship phone on the horizon, the rumors of its new features continue to swirl.

Samsung, Galaxy S6 Edge+, smartphones, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, 3D Touch, wraparound display

Rumors about Samsung's next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S7, continue to increase, with the latest reports indicating that the expected S7 could come with a 3D Touch feature like that found in the latest Apple iPhone 6s models.

Also possible is an extension of the Galaxy S6 Edge+ wraparound screen to the top of the handset, in addition to its existing wraparound sides, according to an Oct. 18 story by ValueWalk.

The possible 3D Touch and expanded wraparound screen possibilities have been seen in "concept images" based on patents that have been applied for by Samsung, the story reported. The rumors are based on beliefs that the most likely handset configuration for the next-generation Galaxy flagship device is an Edge+ model. Those beliefs also come from "leaked documents from close to the Samsung supply chain [that] have already suggested that the Korean manufacturer will crank up the production of these curved screen smartphones in 2016," the story reported.

The concept drawings were produced by 3DFuture, which creates 3D interactive animations of mobile devices for the mobile industry, according to the ValueWalk story. The images are based on the patents from Samsung's recent applications.

"Perhaps the most notable aspect of this concept is the display that wraps around at the top and bottom of the device instead of the sides as has been the case previously," the story said. "This is an interesting concept, and one that Samsung may seriously implement when one considers that the company has already patented such technology."

Another concept drawing shows what could be a 3D Touch technology similar to that in the latest iPhones, the story reported. Such a move could reduce the number of physical buttons on the next Galaxy handsets.

"Documents already indicate that Samsung is intending to seriously increase the number of curved screen devices it produces in the next Galaxy S series generation, and this could see the Galaxy S7 Edge outselling the flatscreen variant of the smartphone," the report continued.

Also rumored about the next Galaxy handset is that it could include a 5.8-inch display with either 4K or Ultra HD resolution, the story states.

In August, the first Galaxy S7 rumors began with reports that Samsung would give its next devices a processor upgrade as part of an Agile development process that is helping to bring it to market sooner than in the past, according to an earlier eWEEK report. The potential replacement of the existing 64-bit Exynos 7 processors in the current Galaxy S6 smartphones with Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processors is part of an ongoing Agile design process that could also shave one to two months off the phone's expected typical development path to get it ready by December.

In August, Samsung unveiled its latest Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge+ smartphones, as well as its latest Galaxy Note 5 phablet, in a splashy global Samsung Unpacked 2015 press event in New York. The phones went on sale on Aug. 21.

Both smartphones are extensions of existing flagship models introduced earlier by the company, though they received improved performance and a wide range of upgraded components and features. For the first time, the two devices also share the same basic platform, including the processor, RAM, cameras, battery power and more.

The latest S6 Edge+ and the Note 5 phablet arrive just four months after the long-awaited launch of the company's redesigned Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones in April. Both the S6 Edge+ and the Note 5 include 5.7-inch quad HD Super AMOLED displays, 4GB of RAM—up 1GB from previous versions—and more powerful octa-core Exynos 7420 processors. Also included on both models are a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5MP front camera with additional improvements such as a quick launch feature to capture photos faster with fewer finger taps to unlock the phones.

The S6 Edge+ has the dual curved side screen edges of earlier Edge devices, while the Note 5 includes an improved and more sensitive S Pen for writing on its screen.

The S6 Edge+ adds a new Edge Apps feature that allows users to store oft-used apps on one of its edges so they can be accessed quickly. In addition to the core features it shares with the new Galaxy Note 5, it also shares a 3,000mAh battery and runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop.